The San Francisco 49ers are an underdog heading into Week 1 against the Minnesota Vikings, with the line primarily at six or 6.5 points, with a few sportsbooks going up to seven points. Seven points is a magic number in gambling, so it makes sense that most would hang around just under the full touchdown.
The line opened with the Vikings as 4.5 point favorites, and has slowly climbed to its current number over the course of the offseason. Three days ago, we learned that 49ers running back Jerick McKinnon was lost for the season due to a torn ACL. Since then, there has been modest line movement, but not a whole lot. A couple sportsbooks have bumped the line a half point, and a few have simply increased the juice on the favorite, making it a slightly less valuable bet.
There are very few players who will have any kind of big impact on a gambling line. McKinnon is a huge loss for the 49ers, but for purposes of gambling, it just does not move the needle nearly as much — particularly when the 49ers were already scheduled to face one of the toughest defenses in the league. I’d be curious how future lines might be adjusted, but moving forward, that will be impacted primarily by week-to-week adjustments as we get more of a sample under our belt.
I’ll be back making picks in the SuperContest this season, and Wednesday afternoon I’ll get a chance to see what the lines look like for Week 1. I’m guessing the Vikings will be listed at six or 6.5. I probably will stay away from the 49ers game this first week, but it’s tempting to take the Vikings this first week. Expectations are high for the 49ers, but going into Minnesota is not a simple task. Add in the absence of Reuben Foster and potentially Malcolm Smith, and the defense faces a tough task. It’s a winnable game for the 49ers, but they’re underdogs for a reason.